My love for thrifting just keeps growing with every unique (and amazingly affordable) piece I pick up. As much as I enjoy the occasion perusal around my local thrift store’s racks, I’ve been doing all my most recent thrift store shopping online. With so many different sites to browse through, and thousands upon thousands of items being uploaded each and every day, it’s like having a thrift store times one thousand (if not more) at your fingertips. You can sort through items at lightening speed by filtering down menus to find the exact piece you’re looking for, or explore pages upon pages of listings for something unique that catches your eye. Here are 6 online consignment shops that are worth checking out if you love shopping secondhand…
The One Stop Shops
First up is one of my personal favorites – ThredUP (that’s where I found both jackets and the jeans I’m wearing in the photos). They have a huge selection of clothing, shoes, and accessories from brands like H&M, J Crew, Zara, French Connection, Forever 21, Banana Republic. Their website makes it easy to browse and filter through thousands of items and their returns process is quick and easy, with a 14 day window to request returns to your credit card or store credit for most items. Looking for something more high-end? Check out their Luxe area, where you’ll find brands like Prada, Chanel, Gucci, and Marc Jacobs. All of these items are evaluated by ThredUP’s authenticators to ensure they’re the real deal before hitting their shop.
Another online thrift store that works very similar to ThredUP is Swap – you can shop as many sellers you want, and all items are combined into one shipment. Their prices are slightly lower than ThredUP, plus they occasionally run promotions where they take an additional 20-50% select pieces (in fact, they just ran one this weekend, and I suspect they’ll have a few more pop-up sales like this until Christmas). The only downsides? For one, the website isn’t the most pleasant design-wise, nor are the photos super clear. Also, returns are only offered in the form of a store credit, but considering the deals you can snag, it’s worth a look!
And finally, we have Material Wrld. They’re another one-stop-shop like Swap and ThredUP, however they focus more on mid and high-end fashion, with brands ranging from Frame, Acne Studios, and DKNY, to Chanel and Burberry. (They apparently don’t accept mall brands like Zara, Forever21, and H&M.) Prices tend to be decent too, in fact, I recently found a pair of 7 For All Mankind jeans for about 40% less than what I had paid for a similar pair, and in the same condition, over on ThredUP. They also have one of the better return policies, so depending on the brands you’re hunting down, sometimes it helps to check out both sites!
For a Little Slice of Luxury
If you’re looking for strictly luxury and designer clothing, there’s Vestiaire Collective, known for it’s huge collection of Hermès, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Céline and more. Listing for items are managed by individual sellers and they set their own prices. The upside to this is that many times sellers will add the option for you to ‘make an offer’ on their item, which opens the door for you to be able to negotiate through the platform. Once an item sells, the seller ships it to VC where they check it for authenticity and then ship it out to you. Just be aware that if you purchase from a ‘private’ seller (vs a ‘professional’ one), those items won’t be eligible for a return or exchange.
Another one to check out for more high-end items is The Real Real. Aside from designer clothing, they also have a huge selection of vintage, designer watches and jewelry, as well as furniture, fine art, and decor. They also conduct authenticity inspections for each designer item to ensure that they’re genuine even before listing them.
For the Best Bargains
Of course, one of the best places to buy most secondhand clothing is eBay. Skip the luxury items here though – including clothing, handbags, art, makeup, and fragrances – as eBay is notorious for attracting sellers of counterfeit items. I learned this the hard way several years back. Little naïve me made the mistake of purchasing a Dior J’adore perfume bottle that smelled good, but a little bit…different than I remembered at the department store. Lo and behold, when I took it into Macy’s to compare, the bottle was indeed a fake.
Labels on clothing can be just as easily copied and sewn into jackets or bags, so it’s best just to skip the designer clothing. Instead, shop eBay if you’re looking for the kinds of brands that you’d typically find in the mall. I myself have had lots of luck finding items in good condition from Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, J Crew, and Zara, for prices under $10 a piece, including shipping. Just don’t be too quick to pull the trigger as returns aren’t free. Always make sure to read the details on the item’s condition, and take a close look at the photos as well.
Another benefit is that eBay allows sellers to bundle items. Especially when people are looking to quickly turn a profit for their clothing, they’ll often list 3, or sometimes even 10+ items in one big lot for super cheap. If you find one in your size, it’s worth at least quick glance!
Have you ever shopped secondhand clothing online, and if so, what are some of your favorite thrift store sites?